(Bloomberg) — South Africa’s parliament descended into chaos during a question-and-answer session with President Cyril Ramaphosa and was briefly suspended following a brawl that forced security officers to evict fighting legislators.
Scuffles and accusations of racism by the two biggest opposition parties, the Democratic Alliance and Economic Freedom Fighters, were followed by a fistfight between lawmakers from the EFF and Agang. Nazier Paulsen from the EFF, whose MPs wear red overalls to reflect their working-class support, jumped over benches to attack Andries Tlouamma, who had sworn at him.
The scenes were reminiscent of the fighting that regularly delayed sittings by former President Jacob Zuma, who the EFF would refuse to allow to speak amid allegations of graft. Proceedings have largely been cordial since Ramaphosa replaced Zuma in February, and in previous arguments, the lawmakers would battle with security personnel rather than their fellow legislators.
“None of us can be proud about what happened in the house today,” said Thoko Didiza, the presiding officer.
More Must-Reads From TIME
- Inside the White House Program to Share America's Secrets
- Meet the 2024 Women of the Year
- East Palestine, One Year After Train Derailment
- The Closers: 18 People Working to End the Racial Wealth Gap
- Long COVID Doesn’t Always Look Like You Think It Does
- Column: The New Antisemitism
- The 13 Best New Books to Read in March
- Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time
Contact us at email@example.com